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Virginia

An Enchanting Wedding at Fort Myer

Kristin & Andrew

This has been the hardest blog to write. Not because of a lack of words, but because I could talk about Kristin and Andrew for days. I have been so excited for their wedding since we first met on Google Hangouts two Decembers ago. As I expected, their day was absolutely gorgeous. The weather was on point and their location at Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia is a total stunner. My favorite detail has to be the history of Old Post Chapel where Kristin and Andrew had their ceremony. About 44 years ago, Kristin's parents had their wedding in this chapel and her sister had her wedding there just a few years ago. That little sentimental fact still has me smiling, since it's little personal things that highlight the couple and makes each wedding unique. I know I mentioned it in their spotlight post, but I don't mind reiterating that these two are the greatest. Shawn and I were well aware that we were going to have fun with these two. What we didn't know was we would leave their day with an immense feeling of friendship. They care so much about the people in their lives, and that extended to us on Saturday. Their sweet and genuine personalities left us feeling so incredibly happy. The simple act of gathering the photos for this blog post filled me with so much joy. Especially when I think about the A+ dolphin sounds Kristin would make to keep Andrew laughing during portraits...

Old Town Alexandria Engagement

Kristin & Andrew's Spotlight

I've been anticipating Kristin and Andrew's engagement spotlight since we shot their session back in July, haha! Their gorgeous e-session took place in Old Town Alexandria, and I am still not over how much fun it was. We met up in the early morning hours, and it honestly felt like they were life long friends. We had a great adventure through the city, and we also caught loads of Pokemon. Seriously, never in my life did I think we would play Pokemon with a couple, but Kristin and Andrew are that fantastic :P. Engagement spotlights are some of my absolute favorite posts. Not only do we get to relive an awesome shoot, but we also get an extra day of celebrating the couple. Kristin, Andrew, and their families are working hard to bring everything together for this Saturday. They are tired, stressed, but - most of all - excited. My goal with this little injection of pretty is to ease some of the nerves and add to the anticipation. Kristin and Andrew, I'm sure, are well aware of how fabulous they are. They are truly one of a kind and I'm hoping that post wedding we keep in contact and remain friends. Honestly, I have never had a bride put on their timeline that Shawn needs to be ready to play Super Mario with the boys. But that's different for this wedding, and I'm totally obsessed. We've always said that our ultimate goal is to make our couples feel like...

2017 Goals to Elevate Our Business

Happy New Year!

Is it seriously time to start writing a new number on everything? I feel like 2016 flew by, and I'm not really sure I'm ready for the new year. I mean, I guess it doesn't really matter if I'm ready, because it's here. The time cannot go backwards, so it's time for me to think about my 2017 goals. I'm not really a fan of making resolutions. They terrify me and I feel they are counterproductive. You set a resolution once for the entire year. When the countdown hits zero, you either succeed or you don't. Even if you came close, you still feel the crushing defeat which is very demoralizing. Any deviations are just "excuses" for not accomplishing your predefined resolution. Basically, a resolution motivates by guilt and the negative feelings associated with anything short of success. That's not a healthy mindset when trying to grow and improve, since it's harder to take big risks when you have the fear of failure. Instead, I prefer to set goals for myself, which are similar but different than resolutions. Goals aren't all or nothing. You can come close to completing your goals, and still feel accomplished. They can adapt to any changes in lifestyle or priorities without having to feel like you failed and started over. Also, I feel like it's much easier to exceed your goals but keep going without putting your work down and feeling like you're done. Goals are just a nicer concept that - given the...

Wedding Favorites of the Year

See Ya Later, 2016

Today has been the blog I have been most looking forward to since January! It's time for the wedding favorites of 2016! I love this time so much because it always brings back so many wonderful memories. From rainy days to 100 degree days, weddings are my absolute favorite. I feel so much joy when looking back at all the couples we've gotten to interact with. Every single one of them have been so good to us and given us a greater purpose in our business. This year in particular has been hugely instrumental to the changes that are coming in 2017. From website updates, to small changes in our interactions. I feel like 2016 has been a year of great influence to our lives and we just cannot thank our couples enough. Shawn and I do not take for granted a single ounce of the love and support that our couples give to us. Shawn can attest that the thank you cards that we receive always bring such a huge smile to my face. They honestly make our day. It's interesting that sharing our wedding favorites year in and year out is really more of an excuse to brag about how wonderful the people in our lives are. I could seriously go on forever about the sweetness between Sara and Charlie during their first dance. The bravery that Emily and Jon shared going out in the rain for portraits. The laughter from Alyssa as Matthew started break dancing...

Engagement Favorites of the Year

Bye Bye, 2016!

I cannot believe how quickly 2016 has flown by, and that we are already at this point again. It feels like yesterday that we were doing our engagement favorites of 2015. How is it possible that we have already experienced another twelve months, and are merely a week and a half away from the New Year?! This year has brought so many wonderful couples into our lives. Getting to be a part of their wedding planning process has been really fantastic. As the year winds down, I love reminiscing about all of their sessions. Every engagement shoot gives us a glimpse into who our couples are and allows us to make fun memories with them. This year, though, I feel as if we have personally been able to open up, as well. We've been sharing more of who we are in order to connect to our couples on an even deeper level during their sessions. I don't think it's any secret that engagements are my absolute favorite aspect of wedding planning. They allow the couple to sit back and just be together. Sure, there is a little posing involved, but it always feels natural and comfortable. We want every engagement shoot to feel exciting, even to the most resistant partner. When we get emails or comments saying how nervous a couple was before their session, but became confident due to our encouragement and enthusiasm, it makes us feel so good. Our entire goal is for the couple to know ...

What Do I Do With My Hands?!

Tips & Tricks

We photograph a lot of couples and groups, each with their own collection of unique traits and attitudes. It's a lot of fun to get to know these different people and what makes them special, but it's also interesting to see common threads that link everyone together. Sometimes, it's a pure excitement to be in front of the camera, and other times it's a lack of confidence in modeling abilities. Couples or individuals have warned us before-hand that they feel they aren't photogenic or great at having their picture take. But we have awesome news to the doubters: it's impossible for us to not capture gorgeous images of you! We're not just saying that idly, either, since everyone has the capability to look stunning, no matter what. You can trust in our experience as professional photographers that we will find the perfect way to present you. One of the most common concerns that we get from those who lack faith is not knowing how to pose, specifically on what to do with hands. Hands can be awkward when left hanging at your side, but they need to be comfortable and not distracting when placed elsewhere. During sessions, we've seen people situate their hands three or four different times trying to find a spot that works. We definitely provide instruction when this problem arises, but we understand that having the information before the session is the difference between eager for a session or being scared of it. The tips below apply...

Engagement Session Preparation

Tips & Tricks

It is always a little daunting to have photos taken. It's not something that is normal for day-to-day life and can be one of the hardest things to prepare for. For me, I instantly clam up when a lens is pointing at me. Spending so much time around cameras does not prepare me for being in front of the camera. I know that most couples feel the exact same way as I do. The great thing is, there are ways to prepare for your engagement session that will greatly put your mind at ease. Engagement photos can feel very strange and it can often times seem like your relationship isn't accurately portrayed in them. When we chat with our couples about their engagement shoot, one of the most common thing is someone in the couple not understanding the point of these photos. They don't care, they hate their photo taken, or they just want to hire us for the wedding and be done. Unfortunately, that's not how this all works. We want to experience your relationship in advance. With our photos, we get really wonderful emotion because we don't just show up on the wedding day. Our bond with the couple is what creates a genuine interaction and ability for them to show us who they are. Your photos are important, and we want everyone to feel something when they look at your photos. The following advice to prepare for your engagement session all go hand-in-hand together. If each...

Great Falls Park

Sunset Hike

This weekend, Shawn and I took a quick trip down to Great Falls Park and did some intense location scouting. We've heard of this amazing spot for years, but haven't been able to check it out. It wasn't until one of our couple's mentioned it that we decided to make the drive down to Virginia. There was no better time to visit, since it was the Centennial for The National Park Service. Not only was there free entry to the park, but they were also showing Wall*E in the evening. I don't think Shawn and I could have planned our impromptu date hike any better, haha! Walking around the park, I honestly could not believe how beautiful it was. Sure, the temperature in August isn't ideal for a hike, but as we reached the edge of the cliffs the view took our breath away. There was a slight breeze from the falls below that filled the air with a wonderful crispness that cooled the scorching heat. As a result, near the edge of the rocks, it was as if fall had already arrived. Shawn and I found this amazing secluded spot to hangout and dream about the e-sessions that we hope take place here. As the sun was setting we strolled around a little bit more. We found the Matildaville Ruins, which were incredibly interesting to see and learn about. Back in 1790, there was a town constructed whose economy relied on the Patowmack Canal. When the canal closed, the...

Kristin & Andrew

Old Town Alexandria Engagement

Bright and early on Saturday morning, Shawn and I headed down to Old Town, Alexandria to meet up with Kristin, Andrew, and their fluffy pup, Murdock. We also had our friend Karen with us to keep an eye on Murdock, and Andrew's cousin, Frank, was there to catch all of the Pokémon that were encountered, haha! Kristin and Andrew's session was the first time that we were meeting in person. For their initial consultation, we had a Google Hangout's call that lasted over an hour, so I had an idea that when we officially met, we would be very fast friends. I'm not sure if it was the donuts that they brought to the session or just how sweet of a couple they are (probably a mix of both), but it immediately felt like we've known them for years. It made the entire session easy and comfortable. Wandering around the empty streets of Old Town was a total goldmine. Every single corner, alley, and building offered something new and exciting. Whether it was a pop of color or an interesting roadway, we could have spent 10 hours just exploring all of the nooks and crannies of the small city. I loved that we got to this location at sunrise, because that allowed us the opportunity to avoid crowds that would have definitely distracted Murdock. Instead, he was a true model that complemented Kristin and Andrew's power couple status. For the second half of the session, we took a 5...